Pattern Recognition

by Dhamaka

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"Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results"........ Albert Einstein

My new dance photography blog, DanceTog is here

My formal G20Voice blog is here

"When you're standing on a comfortable rug, you have to expect it to be pulled from under your feet sometimes"
........ Ben Moor
Global Warming - the debate

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This is my personal blog, not a venue for saleable images. In fact, because it's here that I share things that are important to me with the members of the moblog community, photo quality's not my priority. Events, occasions, achievements, thoughts, trips and experiments - you'll find them all here. Contact me for the development version of my photo portfolio, for a selection of saleable images or visit my dance photography blog or my website for cuttings. And remember that all photos remain my copyright unless I've specifically said otherwise.

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"Every time I see an adult on a bicycle I no longer despair for the future of the human race"
........ H G Wells

"All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better"
........ Ralph Waldo Emerson

"Luck favours the prepared mind"
........ Louis Pasteur

"Never to get lost is not to live, not to know how to get lost brings you to destruction, and somewhere in the terra incognita in between lies a life of discovery."
........ Rebecca Solnit

"Give, give, give -- what is the point of having experience, knowledge or talent if I don't give it away? Of having stories if I don't tell them to others? Of having wealth if I don't share it? I don't intend to be cremated with any of it! It is in giving that I connect with others, with the world and with the divine."
........ Isabel Allende

"Don't ask yourself what the world needs - ask yourself what makes you come alive, and then go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive."
........ Harold Thurman Whitman

"The real voyage of discovery consists not of seeing new landscapes, but in having new eyes...."
........ Marcel Proust

"It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them.. you have no such accurate remembrance of a country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle...."
........ Ernest Hemingway

"Ambition leads me not only father than any other man has been before me, but as far as I think it is possible for man to go."
........ James Cook

"The grand show is enternal. It is always sunrise somewhere; the dew is never dried all at once; a shower is forever falling; vapour is ever rising. Eternal sunrise, eternal dawn and gloaming, on sea and continents and islands, each in its turn, as the round earth rolls."
........ John Muir

"The bicycle is the most civilised conveyance known to man. Other forms of transport grow daily more nightmarish. Only the bicycle remains pure in heart."
........ Iris Murdoch

"Photography for me is not looking, it's feeling. If you can't feel what you're looking at, then you're never going to get others to feel anything when they look at your picture...."
........ Don McCullin

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On Saturday

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I took some shots of Monica Romero and Omar Ocampo at the Crypt in Clerkenwell. One of them came out so well I went over and showed it them straight away. As usual I offered them a CD of the best images.

What wasn't usual is that they offered me a free lesson in return.

So I said why don't we go outdoors and get photos of them somewhere iconic where the light is good enough to get good images. Monica said in that case they'd give me another lesson.

The pressure's on now. Monica and Omar aren't just excellent (prize winning) dancers but they're really nice, genuine, lovely people too. I'm happy to send shots off to editors who can decide what - and whether - they want to use them but private tango lessons are very expensive and I don't want to let Monica and Omar down.

Anyway, here's a combination of ones I like but don't think appropriate and others that I think might be. All taken live and in the Crypt's normal low light, of course.

seaneeboy says:

Crikey! She could do herself a michief!

11th Oct 2007, 09:52

mtn_hermit says:

These are nice! The top shot is my favorite.

Have you picked up a 50mm f/1.8 yet? I'm in love with that lens for low light hand held shots with no flash.

11th Oct 2007, 20:29

Caine says:

Wow. Great captures, D. The sense of motion is really alive in these shots. 1st and 3rd are my favourites. And way to go, getting two free lessons!

11th Oct 2007, 20:30

i agree with getting the 50mm f/1.8D (only £71.99 here)
See my latest shots of the band iLiKETRAiNS - they were all taken with this lens.
Its great because you can get away with lowering the ISO (to reduce noise) and increasing the shutter speed (to prevent blur)
A hell of a lot better than using a flash!

12th Oct 2007, 11:57

i edited that about 4 times - i always forget how to use the code for a link! d'oh!

12th Oct 2007, 12:00

Dhamaka says:

Sean - they are both very, very fit...

mtn_hermit - I only have the one lens. I've made it a personal target to earn 3 times the value of each bit of kit before getting the next bit. I also want to feel confident and competent with one bit before taking on the next.

Caine - thank you. I particularly like #3 because I think it really gives the feel of the dance but I'm not sure they will. Next time I'm going with laptop so that we can talk through what they think of different images. Hopefully that'll give me a better insight into what will (and won't) work for them.

Taniwha - tango's very complicated. You're right in a way - it is very controlled and (when it goes right) the communication between lead and follow is both focussed and intense but once you learn to lead and follow there's huge opportunity for self expression too. That means it can be elegant, humorous, assertive.... in fact it can be whatever you choose. The passion comes from the link between the two dancers. While teaching me Omar kept saying that in tango 1+1=1, meaning that two people who dance well will perform as an integrated single unit. That level of communication calls to something deep and ancient within us. It's an incredibly sensual feeling which can make the walls seem to spin or the rest of the world disappear. Monica and Omar have combined an exceptionally high level of dancing, that type of communication and excellent stagecraft so that the audience is drawn in with them.

095 - thank you, but I'm still learning and still have a very long way to go

12th Oct 2007, 12:02

Caine says:

That level of communication calls to something deep and ancient within us. It's an incredibly sensual feeling which can make the walls seem to spin or the rest of the world disappear.

That level of understanding, that level of passion of yours makes me want to see, witness, feel. That comes through in your photos. You are outstanding at what you do, and you make dance come alive in your photos.

12th Oct 2007, 13:14

Dhamaka says:

thank you so much Caine. You just inspired me to do this

12th Oct 2007, 14:44

MaggieD says:

Wow, another great set, really like that top shot .....

12th Oct 2007, 17:21

nige says:

nice one, steady hand.

12th Oct 2007, 18:33

Dhamaka says:

Thank you Maggie and Nige

12th Oct 2007, 19:16

Caine says:

That is great, D. I enjoy your writing. I quoted you earlier because what you said truly resonated with me. I've never been one for dancing, primarily because I don't know how to dance. Oh, 30 years or so ago, I could be coaxed onto a dance floor if I had enough to drink.

I had one experience that never left me. I went out to a bar to help a friend set up for an event. This bar had a raised stage. Some of the that evening's musicians were there, practicing. My friend got them to play, and bullied me onto the stage with him. I kept repeating "I don't know how to dance!" He didn't care. He told me, listen to my fingers, obey them, go where I lead, follow. That one time in my life, I actually danced. It was one of the best experiences of my life, and a treasured moment.

Just thinking about that, it's hard to explain or even describe the feeling you have when dancing, how utterly transcendent it is; how focused, how intense.

I see that, absorb that, feel that from your dance photos.

13th Oct 2007, 13:33

JokerXL says:


13th Oct 2007, 18:13

Dhamaka says:

that's lovely to hear Caine and I'm so pleased it works for you

Joker - yarrwright?

14th Oct 2007, 02:05

JokerXL says:

Smashin' D!

14th Oct 2007, 09:33

lilitiger says:

I used to belong to an online group who explored non-duality, gender , sexuality and spirituality. One of the practices they found effective was to learn ballroom dancing, to enhance word-less communication, and leading and following... These photos really remind me of that.

14th Oct 2007, 10:21